Speaking of statistics, fertility rates (the number of babies that an average woman in childbearing years has) are extremely important but almost ignored in the main stream media. Europe has fertility rates far below replacement, which means that as the century goes on, Europe will become less and less important in the world. China and Japan are also both very low. China will become more important as an economic power early in this century, and as they do so, their fertility rates may drop even further, so it may be in decline by the end of the century. (I will not be around to check that prediction.) The U.S. has a fertility rate that is at replacement. Lots of people have written about whether the current economic system of the developed world is sustainable in terms of the ecological effects of the system. Fewer have written about whether the present economic system of the developed world is sustainable given the low fertility rates. I consider this latter question more important than the former.